Discover Georgia and Armenia: Religion and Food

As two of the oldest Christian countries in the world, Armenia and Georgia are dotted with unique historical monuments, and they each have distinct culinary traditions. On this 10-day tour of Georgia and Armenia, you will learn about the history and culture of these two countries, visit old heritage churches and monasteries, and cook and taste dishes from their traditional cuisines, from meats to sweets. Georgia is also the cradle of wine; you will go on the Kakheti wine tour, and taste wine and learn about traditional methods of winemaking.

Journey Route

Tour Map

Highlights

  • Discover World Heritage churches and cathedrals.
  • Enjoy locally produced wine and learn about traditional methods of winemaking in Kakheti.
  • Relax in colorful Sighnaghi, the City of Love.
  • Learn from the locals how to cook traditional dishes in Georgia and Armenia.
  • Visit the snowy mountains and breathe in the fresh air in Kazbegi.

Itinerary in Detail

This sample itinerary is designed for reference. Follow our Tailor-made Guidelines to create your ideal tour of Georgia and Armenia.

Day 1 Arrival in Tbilisi

Lota Hotel Tbilisi (4-star) / Tbilisi Marriott Hotel (5-star)

When you will arrive in Tbilisi, meet your local guide and driver, and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours; you may go out exploring or stay in and relax.

Day 2 Tbilisi Day Trip

breakfast and lunch

In the morning, visit the third-tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the world, the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Take in panoramic views of the old city from Metekhi Church. Then, ride a one-way aerial tramway up to Narikala Fortress. Walk down from the fortress and explore the old city as you wish.

Holy Trinity CathedraHoly Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi is the main Georgian Orthodox cathedral.

During your explorations, you may visit Sioni Cathedral, the clock tower at Rezo Gabriadze Theatre, Anchiskhati Basilica, and Liberty Square. You could also wander through the narrow streets, have a cup of coffee in one of the cozy cafés, or buy souvenirs at the Dry Market.

Day 3 Kakheti Wine Tour and Sighnaghi

breakfast and lunch

After breakfast, drive to the Kakheti region (100KM), the cradle of Georgian wine, which has an 8,000-year-old history of winemaking.

First, visit Shumi Winery, which is surrounded by vineyards, flowers, and trees. You will taste two or three types of wine, including cha cha or zigu. Next, visit Numisi, a family-owned winery that has an old wine cellar and museum with a history of over a 500 years. There, you will learn about the Georgian method of winemaking and see every instrument used to make the wine. You will also have the chance to cook Georgian food, such as khinkali (Georgian dumpling) and khachapuri(cheese-filled bread). Enjoy the food you make for lunch.

Georgia Wine and Khachapuri Georgia Wine and Khachapuri

In the afternoon, drive to Bodbe Monastery, the burial place of St Nino, who converted Georgians to Christianity. Then, explore Sighnaghi, the City of Love and the Royal Town. Sighnaghi was once an important trading post on the Great Silk Road; it used to be surrounded by defensive walls with 23 towers. Spend your time wandering around the town before traveling back to Tbilisi.

Sighnaghi Colorful Sighnaghi, the city of love

Day 4 Mtskheta Tour, Ananuri, and Kazbegi

Hotel Sno Kazbegi (4-star) / Rooms Hotel Kazbegi (5-star)
breakfast and lunch

After breakfast, drive to Mtskheta (25KM), the former cultural and religious center of Georgia. Visit two heritage sites at Mtskheta. First , visit an Early Medieval Period  architectural masterpiece, the Jvari Monastery, which is on a hilltop, with a good view of the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari Rivers. Then, visit the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. According to legend, the robe of Christ is preserved in the cathedral.

Jvari Monastery Jvari Monastery

Next, drive to the Ananuri Fortress Complex(45KM), which   boasts of a castle, bell tower, and three churches. It was the former residence of the Argveti dukes, and has beautifully carved walls.

Continue driving on the Georgian Military Highway and you will arrive in Kazbegi (85KM). Switch to a 4WD vehicle and travel through beautiful valleys and woods to the Gergeti Holy Trinity Church. The church is a simple stone building with a bell tower, but its location at an altitude of 2,170m makes it special. On a clear day, you can see the highest glaciers on Mt. Kazbegi from the church (5,000m).

Stay overnight in Kazbegi.

Gergeti Holy Trinity Church Overlooking Mt Kazbegi and the old town from the Gergeti Holy Trinity Church

Day 5Stalin Museum, and Cave Town Uplistsikhe Tour, and Return to Tbilisi

breakfast and lunch

After breakfast, drive to Gori (185KM) and pay a visit to the Stalin Museum. The museum includes many pictures, statues, personal belongings, and the private bulletproof train of Joseph Stalin, the former leader of the Soviet Union. Then, explore the cave town, Uplistsikhe, which dates back to 1-2 millennia B C. Discover its various styles of rock-cut carvings and the coexistence of pagan and Christian architecture.

Return to Tbilisi and take the rest of the day for yourself.

Uplistsikhe An ancient cave house of the Uplistsikhe

Day 6Georgian-–Armenian Border Crossing and Lake Sevan

Messier 53 Hotel Yerevan (4-star) / Hyatt Place Yerevan (5-star)
breakfast and lunch

After breakfast, drive to the Georgian–Armenian border (75KM) for border crossing formalities; your local Armenian guide and driver will greet you at the border.

Drive to visit the Haghpat Monastery Complex(30KM), a medieval monastery complex that stands on a hillside and overlooks the Debed River Canyon.

After lunch, continue driving to Lake Sevan (135KM), one of the largest and highest freshwater lakes in the world. Admire medieval Armenian architecture at the important spiritual center, Sevanavank Monastery, where you can get a great view of the lake.

Then, drive to Yerevan (80KM), the capital of Armenia and check in at the hotel for the night.

Sevanavank Monastery A panoramic view of Lake Sevan with two churches of Sevanavank Monastery.

Day 7 Yerevan City Tour, Local Cuisine, Cook and Etchmiadzin Cathedral

breakfast and lunch

Yerevan, a city with a long history, is also called the Pink City, as most Soviet-era buildings were constructed with pink stones. Start your Yerevan city tour with a visit to the Armenian Genocide Museum, which provides great insight into Armenia’s past. Then, visit the Cascade, which is a giant stairway made of limestone; it has 572 steps, and is separated into 5-6 floors. Spend an hour walking along the city streets; you may pass Republic Square, the Opera House, Swan Lake, and Abovyan Avenue Street on your walk.

Republic SquareRepublic Square in Yerevan City.

At noon, you will have the opportunity to cook and eat dishes from the local cuisine - dolma (young grape leaves filled with rice or meat) and khorovats (Armenian kebab).

Traditional Armenian cuisineTraditional Armenian cuisine, Dolma and Khorovats.

After lunch, drive from the city to Etchmiadzin (20KM). Here, you will visit Etchmiadzin Cathedral, which was the first cathedral built in ancient Armenia and one of the most beautiful examples of Christian architecture.

Later, return to Yerevan and explore the city on your own.

Etchmiadzin CathedralEtchmiadzin Cathedral

Day 8Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery

breakfast and lunch

In the morning, drive to Geghard (40KM) and visit the ancient Armenian Geghard Monastery. This monastery is partially carved out of the mountain and surrounded by cliffs. Then, visit Garni Temple, a well-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. It is the only remaining Greco–Roman colonnaded building in Armenia.

Garni Temple Garni Temple, a remaining Greco–Roman colonnaded building in Armenian.

In Garni village, you will have the chance to take part in the ritual of baking the national bread, lavas (a soft, thin, unleavened flatbread). Enjoy an open-air lunch before returning to Yerevan.

Days 9Khor Virap Monastery and Noravank Complex

breakfast and lunch

After breakfast, drive to Khor Virap Monastery (45KM), one of the most revered monasteries in Armenia and a holy site for the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is said that St Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in the monastery for 13 years for attempting to disseminate Christianity until King Tiridates decided to adopt the new religion. It is also a good place from which to view Mount Ararat and the vast plains that touch the Turkish border.

Khor Virap Monastery Overlooking the Mount Ararat

Continue driving to the famous Noravank Complex (85KM), a two-story church located on the ledge of a deep, winding gorge. Here, you will find stunning views of the surrounding canyon.

Noravank Complex Noravank Complex

Return to Yerevan and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Days 10Yerevan Departure

breakfast

Check out from the hotel and drive to Zvarnots International Airport for your departure.

Asia Highlights Handpicked Hotels

We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.

Rooms Hotel Kazbeg
KazbegiRooms Hotel Kazbegi - a hotel with breathtaking views
  • Good location overlooking the Mt. Kazbegi
  • Soviet era style design with wooden floors
  • Hotel restaurant offers outstanding Georgian food

Journey Information

  • Weather The best time to visit Caucasus countries is from May to June and September to October, when temperatures are most pleasant. As July to August is holiday time, it is best to avoid visiting at this time to escape the heat and crowds. It is usually freezing from December to February, and the winter often lasts till April, but this a good time to visit for people who want to go skiing. Tell us your available travel dates, and we will make your trip as comfortable as possible

Local guide

local guide
Having a private guide and an itinerary allows visitors not only to see as many attractions as possible, but also to learn about them from a local. Guides can also teach travelers about important features of visiting Caucasus and show you all the important sites.

Private transportation

private transportation
When with a private tour, customers will travel in a prearranged chauffeured car. This means that you won't have to worry about catching the train on time or getting off at the correct stop.
 

What our clients say about us

My wife and I booked a private tour with Asian Highlights and they arranged a phenomenal vacation for us. Albee Ning was our Travel Agent and she took care of everything for us and did a phenomenal job... It was the perfect vacation and they handled every detail for us from meet and greet services at each airport, baggage handling, private tour guides and drivers at each location, good restaurants, and fantastic hotels throughout... Read more